Originally created 07/18/02

Braves top Marlins



ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine had another blister on his finger, but the Florida Marlins are the ones hurting.

Glavine won for the first time in six starts and the Atlanta Braves sent the reeling Marlins to their eighth straight loss with a 3-1 victory Thursday.

Florida, the only winless team in the major leagues since the All-Star break, hasn't won since trading away slugger Cliff Floyd and pitcher Ryan Dempster on July 11.

"We played hard," center fielder Preston Wilson said. "We're trying to give it everything we've got. We're just not catching the breaks. Every time we come to the ballpark, we feel we have a chance to win."

Atlanta won its third straight - allowing just one run during that span - and improved to 16-0-4 in its past 20 series. That's the longest streak in franchise history, surpassing the Boston Beaneaters' run of 19 series in 1897.

Braves pitchers hadn't allowed a run in 26 innings before Mike Redmond's RBI single in the sixth.

Glavine (12-5), who tied Whitey Ford for 51st on the career list with his 236th career victory, pitched into the sixth for the first time in four starts. He first developed blister problems June 26 against the New York Mets.

The blister reappeared in the first inning, but Glavine wasn't sure if it was a recurrence of the old problem or a new one.

"I'm moderately concerned about it; the first one I had was a pain in the neck," Glavine said. "I think it led to a lot of the problems I've over the last three starts with my mechanics."

Glavine last won against the Minnesota Twins on June 11, going 0-2 in his previous five starts.

In 5 2-3 innings Thursday, Glavine gave up five hits and a run. He wasn't particularly sharp, walking four and throwing 103 pitches, only 53 of which were strikes. He left after back-to-back walks, including one on four pitches to Kevin Millar, his last batter.

"It was hot out there, and I was pitching with guys on base, which adds to the heat level a little bit," Glavine said.

Kevin Gryboski took over and gave up Redmond's run-scoring single before walking Andy Fox, loading the bases. But Gryboski struck out pinch-hitter Tim Raines to end the threat.

John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his major league-best 34th save in 37 opportunities.

For the second straight game, the Braves scored in the first inning. Rafael Furcal doubled off Julian Tavarez (7-6) and moved to third on a single by Matt Franco. After Gary Sheffield was hit by a pitch, Chipper Jones hit a two-run single.

Sheffield scored when Andruw Jones grounded into a double play for a 3-0 lead.

"It was nice to contribute every once in a while," Chipper Jones said. "Sheff and a bunch of other guys have been doing all the damage for a couple of weeks now. I got an opportunity and set the table for the rest of the game."

Tavarez didn't give up a hit after that, retiring 13 of his final 15 batters before leaving in the sixth. He struck out three in five innings, and all three runs were earned.

"The way we have been playing, you have to pitch a perfect game," Tavarez said. "After giving up three runs, you knew we were not going to win that game. Everybody could see that."

Relievers Vladimir Nunez and Braden Looper completed the four-hitter, but it wasn't enough.

"That's something positive to build on," Wilson said.

Glavine pitched out of his share of trouble, getting out of two-on, one-out jams in the first and third.

"I felt pretty good about the way I pitched," he said. "I feel like I made some strides back to where I wanted to be."

Notes: Sheffield reached base for the 44th straight game. ... Game time temperature was 91 degrees - and it warmed up considerably after that. ... As part of special promotion for a day game during the week, the Braves handed out Groucho Marx disguise kits to the 34,805 fans in attendance. ... Florida 2B Luis Castillo went 2-for-5 a day after his 27-game road hitting streak ended.